Online since August 2002

Modern chamber music

Reviewed November 2007

Go, Go Smear the Poison Ivy
Go, Go Smear the Poison Ivy
By Múm

FatCat Records: 2007

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

Iceland's answer to Yoko Ono?

That's probably too harsh a reaction to this very out-there release of modern chamber rock. It's actually got more in common with avant-jazzists like Kitty Brazelton or experimental Jewish music practitioners Charming Hostess. Odds are, nobody reading this has heard of either of those outfits, and tossing out names of other experiemental musicians isn't going to provide much more clarity.

The music itself is all over the place, from slow, almost dirge-like pieces to the wildly swinging to utter cacophony that would leave Ms. Ono shaking her head in confusion.

Given that part of the CD was recorded at a music school in Iceland, it's probably not a huge surprise that the seven-piece band broke out just about every instrument in the practice lab, with triangles, xylophones, and a broad variety of brass making an appearance. Keyboards, the usual assortment of guitars, bass and drums and who knows what kind of effects boxes and Kate Bush-style post-production round out the sound.

It is assuredly not for everyone, and yet those who are into the new, the weird, the explorative will find much to like here.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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